Singapore-based Claris Investments Pte says it wants to help New Zealand poultry producer Tegel Foods Ltd "reach its full potential".
Claris is owned by three partnerships associated with Affinity Equity Partners, the private equity firm behind troubled clothing and footwear retailer Colorado Group. Colorado was put in receivership yesterday.
The Affinity Equity partnerships which make up Claris have won Overseas Investment Office approval of their acquisition of Tegel parent company NZ Poultry Enterprises Ltd (NZPEL) for a reported $600 million.
Tegel employs about 1550 workers.
Pacific Equity Partners bought Tegel from HJ Heinz six years ago for $250m, after Tegel lost New Zealand's biggest chicken contract - to supply KFC fast food outlets - and its sales fell. Chicago-based Heinz originally bought the Tegel business in 1992 as part of its purchase of Goodman Fielder but sold it in a bid to quit underperforming businesses outside the United States.
Pacific Equity still retains a 43 percent stake but the rest of Tegel's parent company is owned by Tegel management (14 percent), ANZ Entities (30 percent), Lujeta Pty Ltd in Australia, and British-based Intermediate Capital Group.
Claris Investments said it "aims to assist Tegel to reach it full potential through further expansion, including Tegel's product range".
NZPEL reported a tax paid profit of $22.6m for the year to Anzac Day, 2010, on revenue of $401.7m but has interest-bearing debt of $319.2m.
Affinity's purchase is expected to be backed by Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac, Macquarie Bank and Rabobank, which will replace the $300m in borrowings in place with BOS International, ANZ, Rabobank and Westpac.